For some reason WordPress decided that it was going to delete all the people who had subscribed to this blog via e-mail since I moved to the WP platform a few years ago. I think I’ve managed to get most of you back, although it’s hard to tell how long you’ve been gone, but it’s been a few months.
So here’s a quick recap of stuff you’ve missed recently. I’ve taken on pedigree and rescue smugness, discovered that the phrase “Wag more, Bark less” goes back to pre-biblical times, returned to the bizarre events surrounding Tilikum the Orca featured in the recent “Blackfish” documentary, shown how Sheepdog trials actually began with fancy beauty pageants, questioned the objectivity of PhD who publish papers about breeds of dogs they also own or breed, taken down the notion that Hip Dysplasia is somehow an advantage to the Border Collie, and more.
People who have dogs that are still functional are clearly bourgeois. A dog is art because it exists, not because of any existential ability. Herding dogs are for peasants. Working dogs are for brutes. If the dog is actually tasked with some performance, it better be in the pursuit of leisure and preferably something you have to get dressed up for. Bonus points if there are horses or estates involved.
Double special bonus smug points are awarded for any breed which was not high maintenance, obsolete, disfigured, nor ancient 100 years ago but has been “improved” into one or more of those categories through breeding and creative breed history myth building.
Nothing assuages white liberal guilt like “rescuing” a medically and psychologically needy pit bull mix from a high-profile abuser like Michael Vick, turning them into a breed ambassador or stunt-pit, and then collecting money for some vague and unspecified fund to fix something-or-other. Bonus points if you get a book deal out of it. It’s second only to kidnapping a black baby from Malawi in the Hierarchy of Rescue Smugness.
From the Tale of Ahikar, 500 BC:
My son, sweeten they tongue and make savoury the opening of thy mouth; for the tail of a dog gives him bread, and his mouth gets him blows.
So is it any great mystery that Tilikum is a serial killer of humans? We kidnapped him from the wild, killing several of his fellow calves in the process, subjected him to the abuse of adult female Orcas from a different pod, isolated him in near deprivation levels for most of his life, transferred him from an ocean-water corral to the swimming pool like environment at SeaWorld where captive whales live only a fraction of their wild counterparts, used him in a limited fashion for entertainments but little physical contact save drifters and semen harvesters sexually exploiting him. And when he behaved badly, we just isolated him more.
This story is deeply perverse and it’s not me putting that spin on it out of nowhere.
Contrary to popular myth, early trials were gentry sponsored and therefore heavily freighted with elite values concerning the nature of the shepherds’ craft. Early trials accented speed, agility and obedience in the dog, as well as sheer entertainment value, arising often from debacles that might ensue in any given run. The trials, too, remained adjuncts to elite, Kennel-club style dog-shows, with their focus on conformation and the physical beauty of the animal.
– Professor Albion Urdank The Rationalisation of Rural Sport: British Sheepdog Trials, 1873-1946
Piled Higher and Deeper
This blog is no stranger to calling out PhDs on their bullshit, especially when it’s obvious that breed bias has fuelled motivated reasoning and deceptive arguments. Any argument needs to stand on its own merits, not any fallacy appeal to education, experience, or expertise. You’ll notice a pattern among all the PhDs covered here: they allow their bias to aggrandize their own breeds to supersede their integrity as intellectuals. Here are some examples of PhDs that have been subjected to the Border-Wars logic hammer…
I believe [motivated reasoning] is what is happening with C. Denise Wall, PhD’s essay: she doesn’t want to admit that the all-mighty sheep trial selection tool is insufficient to solve hip-dysplasia in Border Collies and instead of being objective she creates a fantasy where a disease must be beneficial because otherwise she’d have to negatively re-evaluate the sheep trial as a necessary, sufficient, and optimal selection tool.
Thanks for being loyal readers!
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